The story

Mining Inconfidence

Mining Inconfidence

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The Inconfidência Mineira, or Conjuration Mineira, was an attempt of revolt aborted by the government in 1789, in the middle of the gold cycle, in the then captaincy of Minas Gerais, Brazil, against, among other reasons, the execution of the spill and Portuguese rule.

It was one of the most important social movements in the history of Brazil. It meant the struggle of the Brazilian people for freedom, against the oppression of the Portuguese government in the colonial period.

At the end of the eighteenth century, Brazil was still a colony of Portugal and suffered from political abuse and high taxes and levies. In addition, the metropolis had enacted a series of laws that undermined Brazil's industrial and commercial development. In the year 1785, for example, Portugal enacted a law that prohibited the operation of manufacturing industries in Brazilian territory.

Reading of the sentence of the unfaithful, by Leopoldino Faria.


In this period, the extraction of gold was great, mainly in the region of Minas Gerais. Brazilians who found gold had to pay the fifth, that is, twenty percent of all gold found ended up in the Portuguese coffers. Those who were caught with “illegal” gold (without paying the tax ”) suffered harsh penalties and could even be deported (forcibly sent to African territory).

With the great exploitation, gold began to decrease in the mines. Even so, the Portuguese authorities did not reduce the charges. At this time, Portugal created the Derrama. This worked as follows: Each gold-mining region should pay 100 arrobas of gold (1500 kilos) per year to the metropolis. When the region could not meet these requirements, crown soldiers would enter family homes to remove their belongings until the amount was due.

All of these attitudes were causing great dissatisfaction among the people and especially the rural farmers and mine owners who wanted to pay less taxes and have more participation in the political life of the country. Some members of the Brazilian elite (intellectuals, farmers, military and landowners), influenced by the ideas of freedom that came from the European Enlightenment, began to come together to seek a definitive solution to the problem: the conquest of Brazil's independence.

The Inconfidents

Tiradentes: leader of Inconfidência Mineira

The group, led by Ensign Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, known as Tiradentes, was formed by the poets Tomas Antonio Gonzaga and Claudio Manuel da Costa, the owner of Inácio de Alvarenga mine, Father Rolim, among other representatives of the mining elite. The idea of ​​the group was to gain ultimate freedom and to set up the republican system of government in our country. On the issue of slavery, the group did not have a definite position. These inconsistents even set a new flag for Brazil. It would be composed of a red triangle on a white background, with the Latin inscription: Libertas Quae Sera Tamen (Freedom though Late).


The Minas Inconfidência became the ultimate symbol of resistance for the miners, like the Farrapos War for the gauchos, and the 1932 Constitutionalist Revolution for the Paulistas. The flag conceived by the unfaithful was adopted by the state of Minas Gerais.


  • The first night Tiradentes' head was exposed in Vila Rica, it was stolen, and its whereabouts unknown to this day.
  • In the case of a conviction for unfaithfulness (betrayal of the Crown), church bells could not ring upon execution. Legend has it that even then, at the time of hanging, the local church bell rang five chimes.
  • The house of Tiradentes was razed, its place was salted so that nothing else was born there, and the authorities declared all their descendants infamous.
  • Tiradentes never had a beard and big hair. As ensign, the maximum allowed by the Portuguese Army would be a discreet mustache. During his time in prison, Tiradentes, like all prisoners, periodically had his hair and beard trimmed to prevent the proliferation of lice, and during execution he was bald with his beard shaved because his hair and beard could interfere with the action of the rope.